by Doug Bevins
Running out of space on your bookshelf? Do you walk by a shelf and immediately have a sneezing attack? The problem could be an overabundance of books and that overabundance of books could be so overwhelming to look at/weed through that it just keeps getting worse (you keep saying I will do it later). Sound familiar? Hopefully this article will help(I go through this every time I try to weed books off of my shelves.
So your books have finally gotten the best of you. Dust an inch thick that causes a sneezing or coughing attack every time its disturbed even slightly. Stacks so tall that even the slightest movement(getting a book off the shelf, bumping against the shelf while walking by, etc) causes an avalanche of clutter to spill out onto the floor. After multiple occurrences of this, you’ll likely come to a decision summed up by this phrase, “leave it or clean it” (I got to that point yesterday with the books on my shelf and the fact that they were crammed into that shelf in stacks three and four tall). So how do you free up space on those shelves? It can be a tricky and, at times, daunting task but it is doable. For me, it boiled down to three ways of judging (though I still got stuck a few times): 1) How much dust is on the book, 2) Is the book a special interest book like history related etc., and 3) Is it one that I am likely to read again?
Dust is an easy category to judge, simply pick the book up and if there is a film of dust or if you get a face full of dust when the book is moved, it has sat there for quite a while and can (aside from special interest books) likely be gotten rid of. Special interest books can be difficult to decide on but if you have more then one on a given subject then that subject is likely special interest for you (civil war history and wild west history are two examples of special interest books for me). If you have a subject area you are passionate in and have a lot of books on, the books on that subject are likely taking up space on your shelf and may, though not always, be adding to the clutter. So how do you get rid of them if that is what needs to happen? Two ways worked for me: the dust factor and whether the book is paperback or hardbound. If dust has accumulated on said book, maybe you have lost interest to a degree and can weed the book out of your library (I did that with several of my books related to the ship The Titanic). If the book is paperback and you have an electronic reader (Nook, Kindle, etc.), consider getting rid of the paperback book as paperbacks do not stand the test of time nearly as well as hardbound books. Lastly, by using the other two factors I mentioned decide if its one you will likely read again and if it is not then let it go (moving heavy books in multiple boxes is a great way to get sore muscles).
Hopefully this article helps you rid yourself of some clutter in your personal space(shelves, bedroom, etc). Books are great but bury yourself in a good book, don’t get buried by your books.
- Declutter Your Apartment: What’s OK to Throw Away! (apartmentguide.com)
- read or dust? (onepairofshoesatatime.wordpress.com)